A recent study reports that 50.1% of Europeans are now overweight or obese and, sadly, the numbers for children are one in seven. Currently the US figure is at 67% for adults, but with this study it’s more proof that getting fat is going global.
Looking through the obesity rates (not just overweight, but people with a BMI of 30 or higher), there is quite a range of numbers. On the lower end were Italy and France with 9.9% and 11.2% obesity rates respectively. Meanwhile the two most obese European nations were England and Ireland at 24.5% and 23% respectively.
There are a few other nuggets from the study. Children between the ages of 11 and 15 significantly decrease their daily fitness activities. Only 20% get regular exercise in this group. All you parents out there are nodding; you’re all thinking Wii and Nintendo just like me!
Of course these rising rates have the same ramifications for the E.U. that we are experiencing here in the U.S.: more sick people, increases in rates of medical problems such as heart disease, some cancers and diabetes, and skyrocketing medical costs. Since countries like Britain have medical coverage fully covered by their government, this is a very serious issue. They could be in worse economic shape than the U.S. if they continue on this path.
For some reason, the results of this study make me feel hopeful. I keep thinking the Euros will nip this in the bud better than we Americans and maybe they can exert a little peer pressure back at us across the pond. Okay, wishful thinking I know, but maybe … the governments are strongly invested in seeing healthy citizens since a lot of them have to pay for the health care of those citizens who aren’t. We could see breakthroughs in research, medical care, marketing campaigns, etc.; all stuff that we can borrow and use stateside.
What do you think? Would you like to see improvements overseas that could help us back here? Did you ever think you’d read an article that talks about the French getting fat? Could this possibly change the fashion industry?
Chime in and let me know what you think,